Local Unit Update

First – thanks to the Island nurses who were able to turn out for one of the local unit meetings we held on July 12. We are hearing that Island nurses want information, updates and opportunities for involvement as we work together to build a stronger bargaining unit!

Here is a summary of some of our current issues:

Low Census rotation in the Emergency Department -

Nurses have questions/concerns regarding low census rotation in relation to their staggered work start and stop times. We will be meeting with ER nurses to hear more about what is happening and decide how to address those concerns. Of note - In July, WSNA agreed to a 3 month trail of staggered start and stop times in surgical services. One of the issues we will be assessing during this trial is how Low Census rotation "works" r/t staggered start and stop times. We will be looking at both ER and surgical services department and bring nurses’ concerns to our labor management meetings (Conference Committee).

Overtime -

The hospital must pay you for all time you work. There should be no retaliation from management for reporting overtime. If you are getting push back from your management, let one of your officers or Nurse Representative know.

ADOs -

There should be no retaliation from management for reporting overtime, or for turning in ADOs. These forms are our contractually agreed upon method to communicate our concerns to management about our working conditions. Fill out the forms - they help document working conditions and patient/nurse safety. Your manger should reply to your concerns - and we address each ADO in labor management meetings (Conference Committee). Here is some of the language from the contract:

19.1.3 Nurse Staffing Questions. A nurse questioning the level of staffing on her/his unit shall communicate this concern to her/his immediate supervisor who will utilize available management resources to attempt to resolve the situation. When appropriate, the nurse should initiate an Assignment Despite Objection form to document the situation, a copy to be given to the supervisor, and the nurse to receive a written response. Nurses who raise staffing issues shall be free from restraint, interference, discrimination or reprisal.

Local Unit Officer Elections -

Watch for a corrected ballot coming your way. Corrected ballots were mailed on August 2nd. Please let us know if you have questions.

Conference Committee -

We will be resuming Conference Committee meetings with management Aug. 8. We have not met since prior to the start of contract negotiations. Conference Committee provides us an avenue to address nurses' issues/concerns. It is a committee that is contractually agreed upon. Here is some of the language from the contract:

16.1 Conference Committee. The Employer, jointly with the elected representatives of the nurses covered by this Agreement, shall establish a Conference Committee to assist with personnel and other mutual problems. The purpose of the Conference Committee is to foster improved communications between the Employer and the nursing staff and the function of the Committee shall be limited to an advisory rather than a decision-making capacity. Such a Committee shall exist on a permanent basis and meet at least quarterly and shall consist of representatives of management and up to five (5) representatives of the nurses covered by this Agreement. All members of the Committee shall be employees of the Employer. A nurse member shall be compensated for time in attendance, and shall coordinate release time requests with the nurse’s Department Manager.

Ways to get involved -

Interested in being a unit representative? Unit Reps act as a resource for nurses they work with regarding work/contract issues and help with communication between nurses, the local unit officers, and the WSNA Nurse Representative. Let us know if you are interested in this role – and /or if you have any questions. We are also thinking about ways we can give back to our community. Some of our ideas so far include providing school supplies, maybe coat/jacket drives – basically ways for us to be present and show our support for our community. Got a good idea? Please share it!

Questions? Concerns? Please contact Sue O’Donnell, MSN, RN, WSNA Nurse Representative at 206-575-7979, ext.3045 or sodonnell@wsna.org.